Category Archives: Uganda

Soft Power buys two new ISSB machines

Would you like to know how we are saving tonnes of trees with every classroom we build?

 

We not only looking out for education but also looking after the Ugandan environment and keeping it green as we go.

Thanks to some incredible fundraising from supporters Melinda and Steve Robinson from Australia, we have just purchased two new Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block Machines (ISSB). In simple terms, a manual brick making machine, which will help with all of the building projects that we are involved in.

Traditional methods of brick making in Uganda comprise of taking a clay based mud and making a square block by hand, they are approximately the same size as any other brick elsewhere in the world. The problem is that because they are made by hand they are not a consistent shape, and they come in a variety of sizes. After making the brick they are then put into a pyramid stack with a gap in the middle where a fire is lit, they cover the top with banana leaves and dry grass (a handmade Kiln process). The bricks are then fired for 96 hours – constantly keeping the fire burning with wood, and are left to cool for 4 days. The bricks are then stored for 4 – 6 months before they are used.

 

 

 

This whole process is –

 

1. Labour intensive,
2. Bad for the environment because of the amount of wood needed to ‘cook’ the bricks,
3. Makes the building process longer and more expensive as the builders use more cement for mortar and rendering because of the imperfections of the bricks.

The new ISSB machine is an old technology that originated in France over 800 years ago. Kenya over the past 25 years have redeveloped the system because the Government has banned the cutting of timber to fire bricks the traditional way, knowing what it was doing to the environment.

 

Since 1991, Dr Moses Musaazi, an engineer at Makerere University in Kampala, has developed a technique which, by mixing soil and cement and then compressing the dampened mixture in a mould, produces an interlocking block (twice the size of a normal brick) that is stronger and more uniformly shaped than a conventional brick.

 

Dr Musaazi says: “Cutting down trees for firing bricks is second to charcoal burning in destroying Uganda’s forest cover. The adoption of this technology will dramatically reduce this environmental damage.

 

We have been looking at these machines for the past 6 years and today we are finally taking delivery of two machines.  The new machines make blocks from a specific soil called murram, cement and water. It takes 2 people to operate and can produce 300 – 400 blocks in an 8 hour day. On top of all that they are also interlocking which saves on cement costs in between bricks. Several teams of Soft Power Builders have been trained in the process in association with The Haileybury Youth Trust.

  

The benefits of the ISSB bricks:

 

1.    The making of 3000 ISSB blocks will save 10 tonnes of trees.

2.    The blocks do not need to be fired

3.    Cost saving because of less time needed to make them.

4.    Only one bag of cement is needed to make 150 blocks. (cement is incredibly expensive in Uganda)

5.    They are double the size of a normal fired brick so you only need to use half the number of bricks.

6.    There is no mortar needed between the bricks because of the interlocking system, so mortar is only needed on top and bottom of the brick.

7.    Uniformed shape for every brick, which uses less mortar and render – saves up to 50% compared to using fired bricks.

8.    Are weather resistant and can be used in the construction of septic and water tanks. (There is a curved ISSB machine which can make curved bricks for water tanks)

9.    The bricks are manufactured on site, saving transportation and damage.

10. Bricks are used 4 hours after making them, therefore construction can continue as the bricks are being made.

11. The ISSB system uses Ugandan road base as its main ingredient mixed with cement.

We will be using this type of brick in all buildings and water tanks from now on. This will make construction costs cheaper and the buildings and water tanks stronger. The biggest benefit – all monies fundraised for Soft Power Education will now go further!

 

Make sure to check the website soon for an update on our new buildings using the new ISSB technology.

 

Why It Pays To Give Charity Donations In Facebook

What is Charity Donation?

Charity Donation is the selflessly giving of any contribution in money or in kind for less fortunate people through charitable institutions or organizations. It is made in a desire to help others with whatever way possible.

There are many charitable institutions and organizations already established with the objective of reaching out to as many people who are in need. These charitable institutions set-up their own system of gathering funds and donations to be able to materialize their assistance in different aspects such as in financial and social status, advancement of education, building of structural and technical facilities and many others.

There are many ways in which charities raise money for their projects. Some create fund-raising activities in the form of concerts, sports events and games. There are also some who do advertisements in print, in television and in websites.

Charity Donations through Facebook

Nowadays, it is very common for charities to use the Internet in gathering donations and funds for their charitable projects. The charity donations that they get are deposited online through credit card payments, bank transfers and/or Paypal. A very reliable and efficient way to do this is via the COIN JARS application in Facebook.

Learn more about COIN JARS HERE.

Facebook was created in 2004 to make people connect with each other through its various features and secured privacy profiles. Nowadays, Facebook is one of the online applications catering to charitable donations through credit cards, bank transfers and Paypal. It is a hassle and worry-free utility that allows different users and viewers to instantly donate any amount of money without any transmittable charges or fees. The system is also very safe allowing other unknown users not to hack you when you are online especially if you are doing money transfers, say for example, the Soft Power Education.

The Soft Power Education group is a British-registered, non-profit and non-religious organization working hand in hand with different volunteers in creating a difference in the lives of the Ugandan school children. With their numerous educational projects, it is sure to enrich the lives of the children through improvements in the infrastructure of schools and classrooms and distribution of educational and teaching aids.

Another good thing about donating through Facebook is that there are no more paper works to be done. Moreover, you can access it anywhere as long as there is an Internet connection available.

The increasing demand for technology such as the Internet paves the way for different charitable institutions to use it as a medium for advertising their different fundraising activities, acquiring donations and inspiring more and more people to embark in their journey of traveling to different places and interacting with different people who have different social statuses in life and who urgently need further assistance for them to help themselves have a better life ahead of them.

Thus, it definitely pays off and it is very advantageous for people to use online applications such as Facebook, especially for charitable donations, since it is a very easy and practical way of reaching out through the help of various charitable organizations such as the Soft Power Education.

Importance of Charity Awareness

What is Charity?

Charity, in Christian theology, means boundless love and kindness to anyone and everyone. Caritas (Latin) or Charity is composed of 2 parts which Is love of God and love of man. This, on the other hand, includes love of one’s neighbor and of self.

Nowadays, people term charity as a type of volunteerism which is translated into an organization or an institution that has a goal of reaching out to the less fortunate people and creating a difference in their lives. There are a lot of charities found worldwide who are very much willing to go out of their way to spread love and kindness to those people who are in dire need of affection and support in terms of social, mental, and educational aspects.

Charities are groups of people that have a different governing structure and with which, have a different and distinct legal form as well as tax status. To register as such, there should be a charitable purpose that will be submitted legally to the public office. The charitable purposes may be as follows: assistance in financial status, refurbishment and building of public structures, technical and educational aids, uplifting of religion and many others.

Charities are built with some rules and regulations that bound the governing structure, the financial inputs and outputs of the institution, the objectives, mission and vision as well as the working relationship with the volunteers and with the target recipients of the organization. They are non-profit and independent with a permission to get public support as well as benefits such as: income tax and corporate tax exemption, value added tax relief and different rates.

Charity Awareness: Its importance today

With the increasing number of people in the world today comes with the increasing number of poverty thus creating hardships in financial and social status, and educational background. Being aware with these facets of life nowadays creates a sense of charitable purpose in each person, which in turn is translated into charitable deeds. Hence, reaching out and creating a big difference in other people’s lives.

Having charity awareness creates a desire to help others and by this, enables a person to think of ways and means to build bridges to deliver the mission and thus reach a certain goal of fulfillment with oneself through the advancement of the lives of those less fortunate people who are the object of that charitable desire.

There are different charitable institutions that do not only bring differences to the lives of the less fortunate but also inspire more and more people to have awareness of the world around them and thus carry out a yearning to reach out, help, and share what they have to those who are in need.

One of the charitable institutions that have this purpose is Soft Power Education. They are helping the school children of Uganda through their relentless effort in building and refurbishing of educational centers as well as in delivering various technical aids and educators to the different schools in the said place.

Being charitably aware instigates a sense of fulfillment to those who translate their desire to actions and thus enrich the lives of those who are in need.

For more information, please visit the Social Network Fundraising Page Facebook page found HERE.

To learn more about Coinjars and how it can help you, your business, your own fundraising activities and even help you make a difference in the world, visit THIS PAGE.

The Soft Power Education Facebook page may be accessed HERE.

Soft Power Education

Uganda, The Pearl of Africa

Being the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda is home to different ethnic groups. There are around forty languages used in the country with English as the official language used right after gaining independence.

In 2007, around 200,000 plus refugees and asylum seekers coming from Sudan and Congo stepped in the threshold of Uganda. Known for socially and educationally challenged group, Uganda has been one of the countries that gathered a pool of volunteers and social workers to help the Ugandan people to embark on a journey that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Education and Volunteerism in Uganda

A rise from around 2 million to around 7 million students happened from 1997 to 2004 when the Universal Primary Education was established in Uganda. With the increasing number of students, a substantial need in the improvement, refurbishment and even building of facilities and educational centers arose. Moreover, a necessity for technical aids and educators also evolved.

Soft Power Education: Reaching Out to Uganda

With a great desire and passion for volunteerism and education, Soft Power Education created a 5-year plan of doing refurbishments for the 20 Government Primary Schools located in Budondo, a sub country of Jinja. Around 35 classrooms have already been built successfully, 70 old classrooms have been renovated, 10 water tanks have been installed and around 120 classrooms have been set-up with teaching aids. On the other hand, there have already been 2 pre-school centers built especially for Orphans of AIDS. These are still being operated until now. On the other hand, Soft Power Education team also assisted the building of a local Health Clinic.

There are different fund-raising activities and several donation portals, which assist in facilitating the various projects of Soft Power Education. In this way, Soft Power Education does not only reach out to the children of Uganda but also create a difference that will last for a lifetime.

In reaching the place of Jinja, volunteers need not worry too much as Soft Power Education works in partnership with Brussels Airlines with regards to hassle-free airfare rates. Convenient flights to and from Uganda are specifically arranged to make it easy for travelers to take part in the various volunteerism projects of Soft Power Education.

Being a British-registered and non-government organization, Soft Power Education works closely with different groups and individuals in embarking to help improve the lives of the youth sector in Uganda.

The different volunteers at Soft Power Education experience many aspects of volunteerism during their stay in Uganda such as living with the people in the community, experiencing new challenges, learning new cultures, creating fulfillment not only to themselves but to the people of Uganda, enriching lives and fostering friendships and relationships to everyone in the community.

Committed volunteers and even tourists, spend a lot of time in doing the different projects of Soft Power Education and at the end of the day, they do not just assist the builders from painting to woodworking, but they also create a difference in the lives of the Ugandan children.